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LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) - European equity futures edged lower on Friday, with worries over an escalation in tensions in Ukraine set to dent stock markets, which had been buoyed earlier this week by corporate takeover activity.
The June futures contract for the euro zone’s Euro STOXX 50 index was down by 0.4 percent by 0645 GMT, while Germany’s DAX futures fell 0.5 percent and France’s CAC futures declined by 0.3 percent.
German bund futures opened 6 ticks higher.
Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels on Thursday and Russia launched army drills near the border in response, raising fears its troops would invade. Seven people were injured overnight at a pro-Ukrainian checkpoint near Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odessa when an explosive device blew up, local police said on Friday.
Germany’s DAX and Austria’s ATX equity indexes may be hit especially hard by the new tensions since German and Austrian companies are among the most exposed in Europe to Russia and Ukraine.
“I‘m a seller here. The DAX has got the legs to come off down to 9,250 points,” said Darren Courtney-Cook, head of trading at Central Markets Investments Management.
European stock markets had risen on Thursday, boosted by signs of a resurgence in corporate takeover activity.
Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v)
Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares, dollar struggle on Ukraine anxiety > US STOCKS-Apple buoys Nasdaq; Ukraine weighs on broader market > Nikkei edges up, inflation data keeps easing hopes alive > TREASURIES-U.S. yields inch lower as Ukraine-Russia tension weighs > > PRECIOUS-Gold holds near 2-1/2-month low as jewellers stay away; Ukraine eyed > METALS-Copper hits 7-week top on China demand, eyes best week in a month > Brent holds near 7-week high above $110 as Ukraine crisis worsens
Tyre maker Continental raised its outlook and posted a rise in first-quarter sales.
Germany’s biggest lender Deutsche Bank is considering whether to raise capital by as much as 5 billion euros ($6.91 billion) this year to cope with European stress tests and new capital rules, Handelsblatt newspaper reported, citing no sources.
World number two home appliances maker Electrolux said it saw slightly better demand this year in Europe and continued growth in the United States after posting a small rise in first-quarter core earnings on Friday.
Dutch telecoms group KPN posted a weaker-than-expected core profit in the first quarter, as earnings in its Dutch consumer mobile business collapsed in spite of heavy investments in the latest data technology.
Nokia, which is set to close the sale of its phone business to Microsoft , will on Tuesday name Rajeev Suri as its next CEO and outline its new strategy with a focus on its networks equipment business, a newspaper said on Friday.
WPP, the world’s largest advertising group, reported first quarter like-for-like revenue growth of 7 percent, much better than expected, and said it had seen a surge in new business wins due to changes in the industry.
Finnish oil refiner Neste Oil reported weaker-than-expected first-quarter profit on Friday, hit by falling refining margins, and cut its profit outlook for the year.
Patients taking Novartis’ inhaled medicine Onbrez Breezhaler for chronic lung disease had benefits similar to those taking GlaxoSmithKline’s Seretide, the Swiss drugmaker said on Friday, citing a late stage study.
Swedish banking group SEB reported on Friday a bigger-than-expected rise in first-quarter operating profit on the back of strong commission income but sounded a warning over uncertainties due to events in Ukraine.
Steel maker SSAB posted a small first-quarter profit on Friday boosted by higher prices in the United States and recovering demand in the European market.
Swedish telecom operator Tele2 repeated its 2014 outlook on Friday, promising better results in coming quarters in its two biggest markets after posting first-quarter core earnings below forecast, dragged down by marketing costs.
Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim plans to use Telekom Austria as a base to build up his presence in European telecoms after sealing a deal with the Austrian state to take control of the company.
World number two truck maker Volvo posted a rise in quarterly core earnings in line with expectations on Friday as firmer demand in its main markets offset lingering costs for a vast renewal of its model range and fierce currency headwinds. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, editing by Tricia Wright)